The Movement

"Street Harassment" by Dailyn Santana

This incredibly powerful poem was read at our launch party on Thursday by Dailyn. At 20 years old, she’s smart, she’s fierce, and she’s an inspiration to us all.

I am Ani Difranco
I am beyond your peripheral vision
so you might want to turn your head
cuz someday you’ll find you are starving
and eat all of the words you just said…

The other day I was walking the street in Manhattan when suddenly…
“What’s good Mami, damn you ass fine as hell, let me talk to you fo’ a minute”
…I’d really like to know the success ratings on that line.

So I turned around to the prick and said,
ok, you would like to have a conversation, shall we?”Let’s talk about how you feel about Obama recently stating that Republicans are to blame for the immigration delay –”
“uh……..”
…we had a nice little conversation.
I wonder how many girls have fallen for that line and settled with guys just because he was interested in how beautiful or hot they are.

It makes me question, do women and girls know their worth?
Do you know your worth?
your smile, your laughter, your eyes, your opinions, emotions, they MATTER. Your voice matters. You are not your lips and your thighs. You are your mind

I just wish more people took what I’m saying seriously
I wish people could see who I truly am underneath.

That I’m more of a man that they’ll ever be…
and sometimes I forget to brush my teeth…
that I fucking love cursing…
and I hate shaving my legs…
that everyday I’m away from my grandmother I ache the distance…
and sometimes when I’m bored ill do impressions of novelas in my mirror…
and I think there’s no point in talking to yourself if you don’t respond…

I feel like a homeless person always asking the world for change
but I know my worth with every step I take.

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Street harassment in the media, The Movement

THIS WEEK IN STREET HARASSMENT…

We have a FANTASTIC op-ed in the Daily News right now that discusses out soon-to-be-released iPhone app!!

We are always concerned that misdemeanor crimes on the streets and subway are not taken seriously when they have such an enormous impact on the women and LGBTQ folks who experience them, but in this extremely disturbing piece of news, the Village Voice reveals that more serious forms of violence against women are being systemically downgraded to less serious charges in NYC.

Interview with the maker of the fantastic short film ‘Walking Home.’ This film is a poignant look at street harassment that has been featured on our site previously.

In a blog on Gender and Public policy, one blogger compares street harassment to being bombarded with ping pong balls whenever you walk down the street. Hilarious, apt, and it makes me want to carry around ping pong balls to throw back, although, tragically, hand-eye coordination isn’t really my thing…

Street harassment is sometimes an eco-feminist issue. This blogger in Miami notes that the threat of harassment keeps women in their cars rather than on bikes or public transport.

Thank you to the Gay Brooklyn Tip Sheet for including our party in your July calendar!

And FINALLY, OUR LAUNCH PARTY IS TODAY @ 125 5TH AVE IN BROOKLYN – COME CELEBRATE WITH US!!!!!!

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The Movement

Naked in a Fishbowl Presents: Hollaback!

In this week of “Naked in a Fishbowl” the improv group of ladies saw a man touching himself on the F train to Coney Island and Hollaback’ed! The improv show plays every Monday night at the SoHo Playhouse Off-Broadway, check ‘em out!

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The Movement

THIS WEEK IN STREET HARASSMENT…

As we are always saying over here at Hollaback!, SEXUAL VIOLENCE ISN’T CULTURAL. We hear this one ALL the time, which of course forces us to collectively roll our eyes and sigh dramatically.

The anecdotal evidence that we collect on this blog shows that in NYC all kinds of men harass women and all kinds of women experience harassment. This fantastic New York Times op-ed discusses sexual violence in Congo and argues that dismissing it as cultural is demeaning and counter-productive.

While we are still working to collect accurate statistics about street harassment here in the States, this study conducted in the Netherlands states that 59% of sexual harassment incidents last year occurred in public spaces. No surprises there…

Ms. Magazine
follows up with further coverage of “eve-teasers” in India and Bangladesh.

Blogger Kimberly McLeod discusses catcalling, suggests a few responses, and even gives a shout-out to Hollaback!

Finally, this is the LAST DAY TO VOTE for Hollaback! in the Revelation to Action Competition. Let’s make this happen everyone!!!

And of course we are counting down the days until our LAUNCH PARTY on July 8! See you there!

Thanks to Feministing and Bust for spreading the word!

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The Movement

10 days to launch!

With only ten days left on our trusty pepto-bismol pink website, we’ve got two very exciting announcements.

First, 16 edits, 8 months, 356 donors later, we just submitted our iPhone application to Apple yesterday! Fingers crossed.

Second, the wonderful ladies at cozy wallet will be sponsoring our launch party! Cozy Wallet (cozywallet.com) is a gateway free stuff, discounts and giveways. Check out their website at cozywallet.com. See the event details here.

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The Movement

This Week in Street Harassment…

Our launch party is coming – which means the new site and iPhone app are too! Will you be there to see it all begin?

Only a little over ONE WEEK TO GO to get your VOTE in for our Changemaker’s “Action to Revelation” competition! This isn’t like the 2000 election: your vote matters here. The three groups that get the most votes win $5,000 and will be honored in front of over 200 people!

In my favorite response to ‘eve-teasing’ so far, Indian women learn how to use a dupatta, a traditional scarf that denotes modesty, for self-defense!

Mobile technology and web 2.0 media are powerful tools for social change, and they are becoming increasingly accessible. Egyptian women use ‘citizen media’ to highlight the problem of street harassment and my favorite blogger at the Economist discusses the increasing ubiquity of cell phones, even in impoverished areas.

A disproportionate number of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. LGBTQ folks already often experience harassment and violence in public spaces, and of course the risks are much greater when you are unable to retreat from those spaces.

In this shout-out to Hollaback! NYC and Hollaback! DC, Emily Hauser reminds us that street harassment is part of a continuum of violence against women and that so-called “compliments” can still be used to express dominance.

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The Movement

PRESS RELEASE: Hollaback! is a Finalist in the Revelation to Action Competition!

Hollaback! has been announced as a finalist in the online competition, Revelation to Action: Your Place. Your Idea. Your Change., sponsored by Green Mountain Coffee® and Ashoka’s Changemakers. The Revelation to Action competition seeks to find and help fund creative solutions for motivating local citizens to strengthen communities across New England and New York. To win, Hollaback! needs your vote: http://www.changemakers.com/en-us/node/73172.

Hollaback! is an international movement to end street harassment using mobile technology. According to Hollaback! executive director Emily May, “Street harassment is a gateway crime. It is one of the most pervasive forms of violence against women, and one of the least legislated against. On behalf of women across the world, we are honored to be a finialist.”

Hollaback! is one of 15 finalists out of 358 entrants across the Northeast for its innovation, social impact, and sustainability. Through the use of mobile technology, Hollaback! will provide women and girl with a real-time, empowered response to harassment. Each Hollaback! will be mapped, showing exactly when and where harassment happens. Hollaback! currently has eight sites across the globe: New York, DC, Chicago, Savannah, Charleston, London, Hong Kong, and Toronto.

You can vote for Hollaback! and learn more about their work by visiting www.Changemakers.com/Revelation. The deadline to vote is June 30th.

To vote:

1. Please sign in or register: go to www.Changemakers.com, create a profile and complete the registration. Your email will need to be verified to help prevent voter fraud.

2. Go to the Revelation to Action competition: (http://www.Changemakers.com/Revelation)

3. Scroll down and you will see a list of entries with vote buttons – you can read short descriptions about the projects by clicking “Preview” next to the titles

4. Choose Hollaback! as one of your three favorite entries – if you haven’t signed in, clicking on vote will prompt you to create a new profile or sign in.

All finalists will receive an invitation to showcase their innovations at the Revelation to Action Celebration Event in Boston. The three finalists with the most votes will be selected as Competition Winners and announced at the event. Additionally, Green Mountain Coffee will select seven State Winners from each participating state. State winners will also be announced at the Celebration Event. The ten winners will also receive $5,000 to help fund their innovations.

“Hollaback! provides a platform where every women and girl is a changemaker in the movement to end street harassment. We’re ending street harassment, one Hollaback! at a time.” said Emily May, executive director of Hollaback!

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The Movement

"Cat Calls" are anything but Poetic, until now.

Nails the idea of brilliance interrupted and flirts with “what women really want” in this funny sarcastic piece. Brought to us by Amalia Ortiz from Def Poetry.

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The Movement

Guest post: Judy Brown’s Take on What Works in fending off the Harassers

At Hollaback!, we are going to start doing guest posts. You will see a lot more of these when we re-launch our site in July. Please note, these posts do not necessarily reflect our views. They are intended to start a conversation and reflect a diversity of tactics. If you would like to submit your HOLLAperspective, send it to holla (at) ihollaback.org.

I don’t believe that guys on the street hollering at women believe they’re going to get a date: it’s definitely about entitlement, if not harassment.

And yes, it just keeps coming: I’m 60 and fat, both of which are great for lessening street harassment, but even age and padding haven’t ended it completely, I’m sorry to tell you.

However, while living in New York City for a decade as an under five-foot tall girl I evolved a system that’s kept me safe for 40 years, while getting rid of the PUAs (self-styled Pick Up Artists), harassers, stalkers or whichever strange man was bothering me in a public place. (With the added pleasure of embarrassing some, and scaring off others.)

Ignoring strange men intent on a pickup on the street often didn’t work: they had the “excuse” that I may not have heard them, and while repeating their harassment some of ’em worked themselves up into a lather that that I was being “rude” because I’d ignored them.

Sorry: Yelling at the clods to leave me alone only resulted in a psycho screaming at the top of his lungs that he could do whatever he wanted to me, while following, for blocks.

After a couple years, I discovered that the key to successfully dealing with street harassment from men was to acknowledge it in a dull monotone, and pretend it was—get this—a matter of “manners.”

I come from the generation whose parents insisted children learn basic manners, including “Please”, “Thank you,” and “You’re welcome,” so I respond with that politesse automatically, to this day.

Even when the situation may not warrant it. But when my disinterested, but seemingly polite, “No, thank you,” to a street harasser’s request (for a date, coffee, whatever) actually stopped him, dumbfounded in his tracks, I realized I may have stumbled onto something workable.

From there on in, to every approach I’d repeat in a neutral or monotone, “I’m terribly sorry, but I never speak to strangers on the street,” (or variation “I‘m sorry, but I never speak to strangers.”) rinse and repeat, while moving on. (Don’t smile, that can be seen as an encouragement.)

An neutral tone and overtly “polite” response didn’t give the psychos or PUAs an excuse to abuse me for my disinterest, or to continue to harass me, usually.

A request of any sort from the street harasser was also responded to, again, in an emotionless, “No, thank you.” Rinse and repeat, while moving away at a deliberate pace.

(With a bonus: if the request has been obscene, and guy has friends around him, they then laughed at him after my “polite” response.)

However, if the clod persisted after “polite” neutral-toned dismissals, I discovered how to deflect that attack, too—largely because when someone was rude enough to frighten me, my next natural response was anger that he’d had the nerve.

The one time I was groped, on an up escalator at Port Authority bus terminal, the guy behind me grabbed my thigh.

My natural, indignant response, ”Are you insane?” had him backing down the escalator, apologizing.

Righteous indignation after a line crossed, usually resulted in a PUA or strange man backing away and apologizing, believe it or not— as long as I made it a matter of manners.

“Do you realize how rude it is to follow me and frighten me!” Late at night, followed through empty blocks by drunks, and yet invariably apologized to.

However, if there were other people on the street and I was being followed, I’d point it out calmly, “That man is following me,” and cross the street. That would end THAT.

After I moved to Los Angeles and a guy in a sports car followed me for blocks through Beverly Hills after I’d politely told him, no I didn’t want a ride, I turned and said, “I said, no thank you.”

Another block of following, and I turned and spat, “Listen buddy, don’t fuck with me — I’m from New York.”

At which point, PUA and sports car peeled out.

(WARNING: If, after your neutral or monotone “polite” response the harasser immediately cycles into anger or abuse, don’t escalate the situation: repeat over and over in the same neutral tone, “I’m not interested. Please go way. Please go away,” as you move away. No rise out of you, and he doesn‘t have the excuse he wants to escalate the abuse. At least, that‘s how I got rid of a multiple offender.)

So that’s the system: “polite” response in emotionless monotone, rinse and repeat, while moving on, usually deflects the harassers. Until or unless he crosses the line, and then righteous indignation usually backs them off.

However, if your harasser is abusively angry from the gitgo, neutral tone or monotone requests for him to leave you alone, repeated endlessly, is better for getting rid of him and keeping you safe.

I’d also recommend you keep the number of the local police station on speed dial — 911 isn’t as fast from a cell. I now work in a public place where I don’t have the option of leaving when harassed, but when several monotone requests for them to leave hasn’t worked, threatening to call the police, flipping open my phone and/or actually calling the cops, or a more local authority, has sent my harassers running, or at least ambling, away. However, I’ve also never shown fear while doing so, I spoke in the same calm, emotionless tone of voice — I think guys who harass women on the street get some sort of satisfication from frightening or upsetting those women.

The above system has kept me safe for four decades as a woman living in several big cities, as well as giving me a way to respond to harassers that gave them no satisfaction.

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The Movement

This Week in Street Harassment…


 

The New York Times covers “Hey Baby,” the street harassment video game. I was shocked the author hadn’t experienced street harassment personally, until I noticed the name “Seth” in the by-line…woops!

http://nyti.ms/dmbEs7

 

 

Also, listen to our own Emily May discuss the video game with the creator on NPR: http://n.pr/cAs6pb

***Favorite Emily quote of the interview: “No, I did not like shooting guys at all. I will be totally frank. It totally freaked me out… I would much rather have had a bar of soap to go around washing their mouths out with than I would a gun.”

 

 

For anyone in your life who needs an educational introduction to the problem of street harassment, Melody Thomas “calls out the catcallers” and even gives a shout out to Hollaback!

http://bit.ly/a92Goj

 

 

Miss D.C. has been speaking out about street harassment, and defends her position in a new interview:

http://bit.ly/bID3sU

 

 

Here is an update on global street harassment and the response to “eve teasing” in Bangladesh:

http://bit.ly/9O47P5

More coverage of “Eve Teasing Protection Day” is available here: http://bit.ly/bMMOB7

 

 

And finally, let’s not forget that HOLLABACK LONDON has LAUNCHED!!!!! http://www.hollabackldn.com/ I heart solidarity. Also, how awesome is the nail art at Wah Nails, supporters of the movement to end street harassment http://wah-nails.com/ ?!?! I’m not usually a big manicure girl, but these guys might have turned me into a believer.

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